Tag Archive | paedophilia

The Shame of Operation Midland

aaa-harveyFalse paedophile allegations are as damaging as child abuse.

I think I have made it patently clear in this forum that I not only have no time for Conservatives, but I utterly despise them and consider most of them filth. On an evolutionary scale I would not place them in the primordial soup ~ they are much further down than that. So it may come as some surprise to many of my readers that upon listening to former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor on LBC Radio on Tuesday, 8 November, I was moved to tears by him.

Harvey Proctor was Member of Parliament for Basildon from 1979 to 1983, and Billericay from 1983 to 1987. Very much to the right, Proctor was a member of the right-wing Monday Club for many years, including spending time as it’s secretary. He won his 1979 seat on a ticket of reducing the number of “coloured” (his words, not mine) immigrants, opposed the Anglo-Irish Agreement, and supported the return of capital punishment.

In June 1986 The People newspaper published allegations that Proctor had taken part in sexual relaitonships with men aged 17-20, when the age of consent for homosexuals sex was 21. The following year he was charged with Gross Indecency, and resigned his candidacy for his Billericay seat. He pleaded guilty and was fined £1,450. Wanting to put the whole matter behind him, he opened a prestigious shirtmakers shop in Richmond, London.

In November 2014 the Metropolitan Police launched Operation Midland into historic child sexual abuse allegations against politicians, celebrities, and VIPs, and included the allegation of a possible homicide or a child. Some of the allegations came from an anonymous complainant known only as “Nick”. On 4 March 2015, police raided the home of Harvey Proctor on the Belvoir Estate, based upon the allegations of “Nick”. Proctor denied any wrongdoing but resigned his post with the Duke and Duchess of Rutland on 25 March 2015 “with immediate effect”. He was interviewed by police in June 2015, and again in August 2015. On 25 August 2015 he gave a press conference in which he called the inquiry against him as a “homosexual witch hunt” and stated “I’m a homosexual. I’m not a murderer or a paedophile. I’m completely innocent of all these allegations.”

Meanwhile, Operation Midland was falling apart as claim after claim of “Nick” proved to be false or unproven. Among others investigated had been Army Lord Bramall and Lord Leon Brittan, who was gravely ill when his home was raided and he was questioned by police. Lord Brittan died in January 2015, without being told charges against him had been dropped. Harvey Proctor was the last person to be investigated by police, until 21 March 2016, when he was told that no further action would be taken, and Operation Midland was subsequently wound up.

On 8 November an independent review into the £2.3 million Operation Midland, which never resulted in one arrest, found several failings by the Metropolitan Police, and said the decision to abandon it should have been taken “much earlier”. Against many of their criticisms was the readiness of police to believe “Nick”, who had also implicated heads of UK security services.

The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, accepted “accountability for these failures” and stated “It is a matter of professional and personal dismay that the suspects in the investigation were pursued for so long when it could have been concluded much earlier. He apologised to Lord Bramall, the widow of Lord Brittan, and Harvey Proctor.

Speaking on LBC Radio, Harvey Proctor, now 69, told just what a toll Operation Midland had taken on his life. He told show host Iain Dale “It’s been devastating. Unrepairable. As you know I lost my job, my home, my family, unusual family although it might be, split asunder.

“I received death threats, and I am now destitute. I have no money. When other people say they have no money, they are down to their last hundred thousand. I have no money.”

Iain Dale then asked what the darkest time was, and for a good number of seconds the line went silent. Then Mr Proctor responded, sobbing audibly ~ and I openly cried along with him, and I cried, and cried as my heart went out to him.

No innocent person, whoever they are, deserves to be reduced to that.

As my regular readers will know, I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. And some may wonder then why I should care so much because of someone under investigation for paedophile offences. A chance to clear his name, surely? No, loves, it is precisely because I am an abuse survivor that I am sad ~ and angry ~ at the haphazard dealings of Operation Midland and the way that innocent men had their lives destroyed by an individual whom I can only describe as a fantasist, a police force too ready to believe him, and a police commissioner who should have had the sense to close down the operation much earlier.

Allegations of being a child sex abuser are among the most devastating anyone can have laid at their door. As we have seen in the case of Harvey Proctor, it destroys lives. Those accused can lose their marriages, family, friends, their jobs and livelihoods, their homes and their entire reputations, and can face endless verbal abuse, threats of and actual violence. And because the public believe “no smoke without fire”, that follows the suspect to the end of their days. Now, where the allegations are true, then as far as I am and concerned, much of that ~ short of actual violence ~ they deserve everything they get. And I mean that from the child sex attacker, right down to the paedophile who masturbates to images of naked children. Contrary to what some claim, it is not a victimless crime to view naked kids ~ someone, somewhere, is abusing those children, and because it is about supply and demand, every paedophile viewing those images are complicit in that abuse.

But where the suspect is innocent of all allegations against them, it becomes a very different matter altogether. To have your life destroyed because you are labelled a “pervert” by society is certainly an experience too many reading this will be all too familiar with. Many here will have had to change their identity, and maybe even to move home, perhaps many times over. They may have been cast out by their families, had partners shun them, denied access to their children, lost their jobs, been completely ostracised by society, almost certainly faced verbal abuse and threats, and in many cases, been subjected to actual violence. Many will have suffered mental trauma, perhaps even clinical depression, due to the treatment they have suffered. Innocent suspects of paedophilia suffer exactly the same. Indeed, in some cases it can be worse.

I recall in the late-1990s, some red-top newspapers stirred up a “paedophile panic” in the UK, from which we have never recovered. It led to lynch mobs chasing innocent people, mostly men, out of their homes and beating them up. The satirical magazine Private Eye one week ran a cartoon which showed a man running from a mob with the caption “I’m a PAEDIATRICIAN, you morons.” The following week it actually happened, when a woman paediatrician had her surgery burned out.

Feeling was particularly strong in Scotland, in the wake of the 1996 Dunblane massacre, when paedophile Thomas Hamilton gunned down 16 schoolchildren and their teacher. Just down the road in the Raploch district of Stirling, housewife Mags Heaney had set herself up as head of a vigilante mob which was attacking the homes of single men suspected of being paedophiles. When one such man complained to police, Mrs Heaney was taken to the man’s door, along with cameras from Scottish Television, and was forced to apologise to him. Mags Heaney’s family at the time were among the largest drug dealers in Scotland, who were selling everything from cannabis to herion to the very kids they claimed to be protecting. So arrogant they were that they even called themselves “Heaney Heroin Limited.”

Prosecutions and jail terms against many of the Heaney family, including “Big Mags”, followed, but they had done untold damage to the lives of many men, who had to move their homes, had lost their jobs in the process, and some of whom actually changed their identity to avoid future persecution.

I cannot reiterate just how dangerous false allegations of paedophilia are, and especially as a survivor of child sex abuse, how damaging it is to those of us who genuinely suffered. Why damaging? Because every time the police are busy investigating a false accusation, every time they have to deal with misguided vigilantes, every time they have to investigate themselves for failing to recognise false allegations, a child somewhere is being sexually abused, and the attacker is getting away with it.

Paedophilia, be it active or inactive, is much more prevalent than most give credence to. And what is more dangerous is the fact that by and large it is rarely a case of “stranger danger” or the myth (which it is) of the dirty old man in a shabby raincoat in the park; the overwhelming majority of child sex attackers are known to the child and their family, often family members or friends. And because none likes to think any bad of their family or friends, few are willing to admit that. Therefore, even in 2016, when there are many more cases of child sex attacks coming to light, and many more historical survivors coming forward, what we see remains very much the tip of the iceberg. The overwhelming majority of child abuse cases still go unreported, precisely because far from being strangers committing these crimes, it is those close to the victims.

And Harvey Proctor’s sexuality, and past convictions, are not lost on me either. There is certainly evidence that many thought Mr Proctor must be guilty because of his convictions for sex with boys aged 17 to 20, and that includes among the officers investigating him. Again, there are many reading this will know all too well that all too often the public think gay / bi / lesbian / anything other than straight must equal paedophile. All us “queers” are castigated by the cishet pubic majority as perverts, and to their uneducated hive mentality, if we indulge in one “perversion”, we must indulge in all of them. In fact, not only are the majority of paedophiles known to their victims, but they are mostly heterosexual men ~ even those men who prey upon little boys (this was true of my attacker). Whilst the incidence is much lower, heterosexual women make up the second highest proportion of paedophiles. But LGBT+ paedophiles are way down at the bottom of the scale, with the incidence of sex attacks on children among the community being extremely rare indeed.

So, in the wake of the findings of the inquiry into Operation Midland, where do we go next? Harvey Proctor has called for the immediate resignation of Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe. I fully back that. Sir Bernard has already opted for early retirement, due to other incompetent incidents under his tenure. I personally think that January 2017 is too late for him to go, he should go NOW. But then, I reckon if Sir Bernard had one shred of decency left in his entire frame, he would go into an empty room with a loaded gun, and take the last honourable step left open to him. And yes, dears, I do mean that.

A review of how suspected child sex attackers are identified is definitely needed, including education of police officers to recognise that sexual diversity does not equal paedophile. Do I think the Met are homophobic? Yes, and one need only look at the way some LGBT+ people have been treated by the police in London to recognise the truth of this. But then, they are not alone among police forces in that respect.

I would also urge that police across the UK receive retraining and education in the entire subject of paedophilia, it’s incidence and the huge number of historical cases which go unreported, with the survivors often staying silent until their abuser is dead (as was my experience).

Anonymity should not only be afforded to accusers, but also to the accused. Those affected by Operation Midland not only had their lives destroyed by the authorities, but also faced trial-by-media, and are to this day suffering from a cishet public who still believe “no smoke without fire”.

The investigation of accusers should always be taken seriously. But at the same time, such allegations themselves need to be thoroughly scrutinised. I would suggest interviews of accusers not by police psychologists but by independent psychologists who can be called in to do so.

“Nick” needs to be prosecuted for the enormous damage he has done to a great many people. And unless found himself to have serious psychological problems, once convicted, I do believe he should be named and shamed ~ for his activities have been every bit as damaging to innocents as child sex attackers.

Unfortunately, all this is locking the stable door after the horse has bolted, and it may have done irreparable damage to future investigations of suspected child abusers. The independent inquiry into Operation Midland made 25 recommendations, including;

  • The instruction to officers to “believe a ‘victim’s’ account” should cease.
  • Investigators should be informed that false complaints are made from time to time and should not be regarded as a remote possibility.

Whilst false complaints are indeed serious to the point of being devastating to the accused, these recommendations are nonetheless disturbing. There are so very many silent survivors of childhood sexual abuse simply because nobody believes them. I know this, because I was one. These recommendations may make that all the more difficult, and an unwillingness to believe accusers may cause a great many more children to suffer some of the worst trauma possible in silence.

Stephen Fry may just be right

$$-AAA-001FryWords taken out of context?

I have to admit to deeply liking Stephen Fry. Erudite, educated, highly intelligent, extremely funny, a brilliant actor, comedian, presenter and orator, a biting sarcasm, and very outspoken about things he is passionate and cares very deeply about, including LGBT+ rights and atheism, what is there not to like?

He has now come out with a statement however which one can only hope are ill-chosen words. It certainly seems like that. But if not, then he perhaps needs to take a good long look at himself. Speaking on censorship and online attitudes, Stephen Fry appeared to tell rape and child sexual abuse victims to “just grow up”.

“There are many great plays which contain rapes, and the word rape now is even considered a rape,” Fry stated on US chat show, The Rubin Report.

“They’re terrible things and they have to be thought about, clearly, but if you say you can’t watch this play, you can’t watch Titus Andronicus, or you can’t read it in a Shakespeare class, or you can’t read Macbeth because it’s got children being killed in it, it might trigger something when you were young that upset you once, because uncle touched you in a nasty place, well I’m sorry.

“It’s a great shame and we’re all very sorry that your uncle touched you in that nasty place – you get some of my sympathy – but your self pity gets none of my sympathy because self pity is the ugliest emotion in humanity.

“Get rid of it, because no one’s going to like you if you feel sorry for yourself. The irony is we’ll feel sorry for you, if you stop feeling sorry for yourself. Just grow up.”

I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, but nonetheless I am going to attempt to be charitable and give Stephen Fry the benefit of the doubt. I think I can see what he is trying to say, just that on this occasion he did not express his views as clearly as he should have.

I think what Stephen is trying to say is that rape and abuse survivors, and I count myself in this, cannot expect the world to fit itself around them. Plays, films, shows, other media and even everyday things will indeed spark of memories, but we survivors cannot expect that to change just to fit us.

Fry, who quit Twitter earlier this year, calling it a “stalking ground for the sanctimoniously self-righteous”, is referring to is that scourge of the internet which is now finding it’s way into mainstream society, the SJW – Social Justice Warrior. There are people sitting at their computers just ready to be offended by the slightest thing and to speak out against it, whether it is something which affects them or not – nine times out of ten it does not.

The SJW culture reminds me of the 1980s and my days of running with the hard-left, ‘alternative’ crowd. Every day was a verbal minefield, where I had to watch every word I was saying, because there was always some arsehole just waiting to be ‘offended’ – usually on behalf of others – and ready with accusations of racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, misogyny, or any other “ism” or bigotry they chose to dream up. And trust me dears, make them up they did. I was once accused of being “speciesist” for believing that human life outweighs animal life – guilty as charged. At times, purely to fuck with the minds of such people, I would deliberately come out with things like “That separates the men from the boys.” or “I wouldn’t want to be blackballed.” (a Freemasonry reference, and nothing at all to do with race).

SJWs are ever ready to don the shining armour and jump on the white charger to fight for others. Worse still are those precious little snowflakes who are all too ready to let others do their fighting for them; these are the self-pitying. And when they are not doing that, then they are expecting the world to change and make accommodation for them.

George Bernard Shaw once said “There are two types of men in this world; the reasonable man, who adapts the himself to fit the world, and the unreasonable man, who adapts the world to fit him. Therefore all progress counts upon the unreasonable man.”. Now, I am first to agree with that; one need only look at world history to see that on a great many occasions it has been the unreasonable, the radical, the progressive, the eccentric, the oddballs and the complete nutters who have advanced and enhanced the world for the common good (I don’t have enough money to be eccentric – I’m just plain barmy). But there are limits to that. When society bans something because a minority may be offended or may feel uncomfortable, that same society takes it away from the majority, which unfairly deprives their enjoyment. Oh, and of course, Shaw would immediately be castigated by SJWs and radical feminists for his “sexist” statement, which refers only to “men”.

How far do we take this? I am old enough (as much as I hate to admit it) to recall actually seeing Disney’s Song of the South. It’s never shown nowadays, because it was deeply racist. That’s fine – Africans are not a minority. But then, as Stephen Fry says, do we ban Titus Andronicus because of rape? Do we ban Macbeth because of child murder? How about The Merchant of Venice, which could be seen as being deeply anti-Semitic? How about Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist for exactly the same reason due to his portrayal of Fagin? Some have called for Scotland to have a new unofficial national anthem claiming that the present one, Flower of Scotland, which speaks of the army of Robert the Bruce routing the invading forces of Edward II of England is anti-English. I personally think it’s a dirge, but guess what, it’s never going to change (there is also something deeply satisfying about watching Princess Anne, Patron of the Scottish Rugby Union, singing along to Flower of Scotland with the rest of the fans). Hey, here’s an idea; as a republican and an atheist, I find the present British national anthem, God Save the Queen, offensive – let’s ban it.

Stephen Fry himself, presenting the wonderful TV show, QI, once mimicked Scots accents. As a Scot was I at all offended by this Englishman of minor gentry parodying my people? Not a bit of it. Rather I almost peed myself laughing at him because it was so damned good. He gets away with that for three reasons: one, every word he said was true; two, he was so damned accurate at it; three, he is Stephen Fry.

And then how far does it go? Ever watched Mel Gibson’s movie of Passion of the Christ? No matter how well made it is – and I will grant Mel Gibson that it is well made – it is brutal in the extreme, and many may be offended by the deeply traumatic scenes of violence in it. But then, rather than the gospels, the movie is based not upon the Bible but rather a medieval play, which attempted to place the killing of Jesus squarely upon the Jews. Also on the Christian faith, what of Jerry Springer, The Opera; an extremely funny stage show which sells out at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe every August, and which includes the role of Jesus in a nappy (diaper) saying he is a little gay and hitting a woman, and that of God singing “It ain’t easy being me”, and asking Jerry Springer to help him. It is always, and I mean always, protested when it’s shown, and given that a recent poll showed only 39% of Scots consider themselves religious, should that show be banned for offending a minority?

See how ridiculous it could get? And online that’s exactly the way it is going. There are too many SJWs and others online who have the pitchfork at the door, just ready to grab it and head out for an old-fashioned lynching. They see these issues in black and white, with no room for the many shades of grey (no apologies for what is not a racist reference). They are waiting and wanting to be offended because it makes them feel superior, when in fact their petty victories are empty and meaningless. Worse still, they are actually detrimental to the very people that those who are offended claim to be defending.

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I have to live every day with what was done to me, and it can indeed take the slightest thing to kick that off. I hear or read stories of other kids being abused, and suddenly I am right back there. If I read a novel, watch a movie, a show, or a play with that subject matter, then it affects me deeply and can indeed be deeply traumatic. As an adult, I read up about paedophilia in an effort to understand it (there is no understanding it – it is not a mental illness, it is just sick selfishness), and that was bloody hard for me to do. But it was important for me to do so. Just as it is important for me to face news stories, books, movies, and shows in which paedophilia is part of the plot line, because as disturbing as it is, like all society should, I am facing the fact that it happens. If I did not face that fact, I would indeed be self-pitying, and would still be seeking pity, and because of that, I would still be a victim. But I am no longer a victim – I am a survivor.

And this too is important, for all too often the ‘newspeak’ of the internet is to not use the word ‘victim’ at all, but to always use the word ‘survivor’. I could not disagree more. There is a distinct difference between victims and survivors of abuse, any abuse, and only we survivors fully understand the enormity of that distinction. To try and lock things away from us, to protect and shield us, so that we may never see things that may upset us does not help one victim. Keep doing that and the victim will always be the victim.

Certainly, where things are deliberately and intended to be abusive, they need to be challenged and shot down. But the same cannot be said where things are not intended to be directly offensive. Whether you be a rape victim, abused, a racial or ethnic minority, LGBT+, physically or mentally disabled, elderly, young, female, whatever, don’t go looking for your “safe place”, because there are no safe places. And as long as you continue to seek one, as long as you attempt to lock the real world out,  you are continuing to make yourself the victim – you’ll never move on to be a survivor.

That is what I believe Stephen Fry was attempting to say but unfortunately went about it in an asshat way, and could have chosen his words a little better. Ironically, Stephen is now coming under fire for his words, from the very people he was talking about and with exactly the same attitudes he was referring to. And no doubt I shall receive flak for exactly the same.

Of course, I could be very wrong about that. It’s not the first time that Stephen Fry has come out with a highly controversial and asinine comments. On an edition of QI once, whilst supposedly speaking about the larynx, Fry stated “Basically, a good ladyboy can imitate almost anything female, in terms of how they hold their legs and you know…anything like that.” and “A dainty ladyboy can easily fool and often has”. Needless to say, the LGBT+ community was up in arms about Fry’s comments. But hold on, was he actually speaking of transgender people, or merely those who are androgynous? Again, I think it was taken out of context. He did indeed say “ladyboy” and may well have meant just that, s transgender people were never once mentioned. Hands up here how many trans / genderfluid people here identify as a ladyboy? Nope, thought not. He concluded the segment “The truth is, without undressing them or testing their DNA, you can’t be sure what sex someone is. So be careful out there.” Well, ain’t that a fricking truth, and one which all of us who are either transgender or genderfluid are all aware of. But if there are people going to be so upset, perhaps the Edinburgh Fringe should ban another of it’s sell-out shows; The Ladyboys of Bangkok, which is a revue show made up entirely of Thai drag queens (who are all stunningly beautiful, by the way).

Even if he did mean everything he said, guess what peoples? Stephen Fry is a human being, with human failings just like the rest of us. If there’s anyone here who has never said and never does say anything foolish or ill-chosen, then being so bloody perfect and superhuman, you alone have the right to criticise others. But even then, nobody will like you, because you’ll be an arrogant prick  – and a boring bastard no doubt. Also, as intelligent and well educated as Fry is, and a celebrity does not make him superhuman, nor would he ever claim or wish to be. Another disturbing aspect of this is today’s cult of celebrity, where people hang upon every word of the rich, the famous, those in the media, and expect them to be perfect, when they are anything but. Some people need to take the message from the Strangler’s song No More Heroes, which is you shouldn’t have heroes, as being human, they will only let you down.

Fry’s work were indeed ill-chosen and illustrate he has no idea just how traumatic childhood sexual abuse and rape are. I don’t need to “grow up” as Fry puts it, I grew up a long time ago, while I still should have been enjoying my childhood. Do not ask me to recount my childhood because my mind has blocked out most of it – it is lost and gone forever. And no, that’s neither self-pity nor seeking pity; it is merely illustrating just how extremely traumatic it can be. It can indeed take the slightest thing to remind you, to set you off, or put you back into that dark time, and that is not for today, not for tomorrow, it is for your whole life, which is precisely why moving past the victim stage to become a survivor is so important. As long as you let it affect you, your victim is still ruling your life; moving past that removes that power and puts you in control.

But then, if there is anyone who should realise that, it is one gay English actor who happens to be bipolar, and who once had a West End show which received so many poor reviews that he basically spat the dummy, stormed off in a huff, and petulantly locked himself away for weeks.

Now, who was that again?

Oh yes – it was Stephen Fry.